Category Archives: other

Lifestyle resolutions on fitness and food

At this time of year, new commitments to health and fitness are common. I know I have made multiple diaries with charts, dates, goals and promises over the years. Renewed lifestyle resolutions are a good thing, but we need to find a way to sustain and evolve them on a regular basis, making our day to day function better than ever before.

How can we make every day count and get on a more sustainable and satisfactory path? Extreme exercise routines or fad diets are options but how do we make our resolve last longer than a day, a week or a month?

Think process. Process implies evaluation(I am out of shape), planning(I am going to do this), application(do it) and then reevaluation(can I make it better). It is never ending. There are ups and downs, but it is always present.

10 things you can do today to stimulate sustainable lifestyle resolutions:

  1. Forgive yourself. Stop beating yourself up over recent adventures including lying on the couch for days or consuming that box of chocolates a little faster than you intended. It’s done. It’s now time to literally move onward.
  2. Start with daily mini exercise sessions. Make a concerted effort to move your body for a set period of time. Start with a 5 minute brisk walk in your home or adjacent hallways.
  3. Improvise. Stick some music on and boogie. It really is that easy. Don’t fling yourself about with great force unless you have worked up to it.
  4. Drink more water. Sometimes thirst is disguised as hunger. I hate plain water, so I have sparkling water or herbal tea instead.
  5. Try something new. Has a friend or colleague mentioned an app or workout that they like? Turn it on then start to move at your own pace.
  6. Online fitness classes are abundant. I myself will be trying a few different routines just for fun. An example of a place to start could be The website has recorded classes for all levels as well as a list of instructors who do live streaming.
  7. Commit to a workout with a friends or family. Join them for an online class or a socially distanced outdoor hike.
  8. Stretch. Get up out of your chair and stretch. Start with gently moving your head and neck, work down to your shoulders, elbows, hands, then continue down your spine all the way to your feet.
  9. Tune in. Try some deep breathing into your belly. Gently fill it and then release. Then check your posture. Can you sit or stand a little taller? Are there areas of your body where you need to relax a little more?
  10. Write down all of your physical activity options on one page. Keep it simple. Then each day pick one and do it to whatever degree you like. From there more options and ideas may arise.

Get going and stop thinking. There are so many possibilities and so many paths you can take. Pick one and let’s GO!

Choosing a sustainable path

Creating Space to Exercise

I have been dreaming of my own personal exercise studio with all the gagetry needed to both receive and give amazing exercise experiences. What do you need to make an ideal exercise space?

My exercise space

I don’t have the luxury of a separate space in my home for exercise, so I already use a multiple use space for yet another use. Gratefully, the space that I do use does not have any furniture that requires re-positioning. I have an open wall when teaching for my backdrop. My camera depth is limited so boxes on a counter serve as my tripod when virtual.

One thing I am noticing is that lighting can be a problem, especially on overcast or winter days. I may need to invest in more lights so I can be visible to myself and others while on the screen. For different levels of exercise (standing, lying) my computer has to be re-positioned so I can still see well. Did we ever imagine that we would be fiddling around with a computer while exercising?

If you are more fortunate, there may be more things that you can look into like improving your technology for your virtual experiences. It really helps if you can hear an instructed program clearly. Something simple like earbuds if you can tolerate them can allow you to zone in to cues and music.

I think back to all of the physical spaces I have moved in for the sake of fitness, conditioning and the creation of movement. There have been some that were amazing and others that were not so appealing.

Here is a summary of the factors that made the exercise experience more or less pleasurable:

The Good. Light, good audio/acoustics, clean/uncluttered, easy access, not isolated, fresh air, some sense of newness/modernity and if not, unadulterated classic style, soft floor(wood versus concrete), no carpet.

The Amazing. There were a few spaces where the atmosphere was further enhanced. They all had a cathedral-like structure (very high ceilings and lots of light). No doubt the feeling and sensations that came to me when in those spaces included: Spiritual. Expansive. Uplifting. Energizing. Welcoming.

The Not So Good. The spaces that I didn’t care for much and that I believe ultimately influenced my movement experience included: old and decrepit, cold(I mean really cold), yellow tinged walls, low ceilings, dark, cluttered, and significant distractions from outside sounds.

We can’t all have perfect personally controlled spaces to move in. Especially when exercising in our homes, there may be a limitation of physical space and/or a shared space that can’t otherwise be significantly altered.

I don’t have a magical solution to creating an amazing space but if you start with the basics, like reducing clutter and improving lighting, this can go a long way to improving your exercise atmosphere.

But don’t wait to have the perfect space to get started. The exercise experience is obviously more about what you do with your body than where you are.

Defining your space physically and mentally will ultimately help you fulfill your goals. Removing both the tangible and intangible obstacles, with practice, will make your everyday commitment to movement and physical well being more regular and automatic. Make positive connections with your physical space and build on the possibilities a day at a time. Making space available may simply be deciding that here and now is the best option. Go for it. Let’s move!

Essentrics with Andrea

Are you evolving as an exerciser?

Do you exercise the same way you did 10, 20 or 30 years ago? Has your program evolved into something new? Maybe your program is constantly changing. Maybe your daily physical activity level has taken a steep dive. Maybe you are not even sure what you are capable of doing anymore. Check out the exercise and physical activity spectrum below to assess where you are now and where you would like to go.

Where are you on the exercise and physical activity spectrum?

Option 1A: You have never exercised or paid any attention to physical fitness.

Option 1: You no longer exercise but used to be quite active and competent in your physical abilities. Now you are not sure where you are in your fitness level and you are not sure where to start.

Option 2: You exercise sporadically, in bouts. You get really good at getting started but within a short time things peter out or you hurt yourself.

Option 3: You don’t engage in formal exercise but challenge yourself with the occasional or regular walk, hike or other outdoor activity. The intensity level is more than a stroll in the park.

Option 4: You exercise or move regularly, but switch things up often. You are flexible with the activity you do, and have a lot of options to choose from depending on the day and how you feel. You may work with a trainer that likes to switch things up on you.

Option 5: You exercise regularly and are doing pretty well at what you have always done. You are a clock that doesn’t stop ticking. You are routine to the core.

Things to consider depending on where you are on the spectrum of exercise and physical activity:

Wherever you are on the spectrum, the most important thing is that you decide that you are going to move. Sedentary activities often dominate our current lifestyles and even more so now.

Exercise and physical activity affects the health of not just our cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems. Metabolism, digestion, hormones, cognition and emotional health can all be impacted by a lack of movement in our daily lives.

Exercise programs that evolve according to your needs will more likely be meaningful and sustainable. If we do the exact same thing everyday, depending on the intensity, the cumulative stress to our bodies’ may result in a breaking down of systems versus the growth and maintenance that keep us functioning at our best.

Here’s my routine this week:

HIIT running plus stretches 2X

Knee and shoulder rehab 2X

Essentrics(stretch and strengthen no weight) 2X

High rep full body muscle endurance exercise class 1X

Moderate paced walk 2 times daily for 25 minutes to and from work

Ask me in 6 weeks and it will likely have evolved into something different. Actually, let’s commit to that and I will let you know.

Whatever your relationship is to physical activity, remain open minded as to what is and isn’t working for you. This way you will increase your success at keeping things going on a regular daily basis.

Stay tuned for ways to evaluate and evolve your current program.

Think NEAT(non-exercise activity thermogenesis)

Think DIPA (daily intentional physical activity)



Then DO!

Essentrics with Andrea